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Classification & /) J? 3 , // ^ 

Form No. 25, O. C. S. 
(Ed. 7-19-07—2,000.) 

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JAN 07 1988 


MAY, 1907 

The article now reprinted is identical with that which originally ap- 
peared in The North American Review for February and March, 1906, 
with the exception of the fact that the data contained on pages 18, 28, 38 
and 40-45 has been brought down to May, 1907, by the addition of the 
last obtainable statistics. F. L. H. 

Copyright, 1906, 1907, by 
North American Review Publishing Company 

All Sights Reserved 


Evert American who has the defence of the country seriously 
at heart ought to read Mr. Huidekoper's article, "Is the United 
States Prepared for War?" It follows closely the arguments of 
that admirable history of "The Military Policy of the United 
States," by General Emory Upton, who may properly be con- 
sidered the greatest military writer and critic that this country 
has produced, and what he has said and recommended may well 
be taken as a proper standard by which to judge the progress or 
retrogression in our military establishment. 

Mr. Huidekoper has dealt with our military forces from the 
standpoint of a business man — a totally new point of view — and 
he has demonstrated the fallacy of intrusting our destinies to 
inadequately trained officers and soldiers. Assuredly,, we have 
no right as a nation to ask our citizens to expose themselves as 
enlisted men in battle without reducing the chances of disaster 
and death by proper military education. 

In the last six years we have taken great steps forward, but a 
great deal still remains to be done. Our sudden colonial expan- 
sion and the Monroe Doctrine, which is approved by both the 
great national parties, and which has been repeatedly announced 
as the policy of the government by various Presidents and Secre- 
taries of State, involve responsibilities which cannot be lightly 
disregarded or thrust aside. To maintain a high rank among 
the nations requires adequate military forces, and the ability to 
compel recognition of any doctrine depends upon the power to 
enforce it of the nation which asserts it. The voice of the United 
States in favor of international justice is much more weighty 
when it is known to have a good navy and good army to enforce 
its views and defend its rights. We cannot and should not main- 
tain a large regular army, but for a nation of eighty millions, or, 
counting in the people who live in our dependencies, nearly ninety 


millions of people, a regular army of 100,000 men is a small 
force, considering especially the fact of the remoteness of the 
Philippines, the Isthmus of Panama, Porto Eico, and Alaska. 
It is a less percentage than was the army in Washington's time, 
in Jefferson's time, or indeed in Madison's time. Certainly the 
force upon which we must depend for quick action will be the 
regular army, and if that is not promptly effective immediately 
disaster will follow. In addition to the regular army there should 
be a provision for an efficient reserve of national volunteers, and 
such a plan for the co-operation of the militia forces of the States 
with the Federal Government and its military establishment as 
to make that force able to repel invasion and constitute an ef- 
fective part of our national defence. 

It is a fact, whether the American citizens realize it or not, 
that time is indispensable to the making of good soldiers. Our 
own sad experience proves this proposition, but our confidence in 
ourselves and in our power of quickly adapting circumstances to 
meet any national emergency so far has carried some of our public 
men that they have been deliberately blind to the commonest and 
most generally accepted military principles, and they have been 
misled by the general success or good luck which has attended us 
in most of our wars. The awful sacrifice of life and money which 
we had to undergo during the four years in order to train our 
Civil War veterans and to produce that army is entirely forgot- 
ten, and the country is lulled into utterly unfounded assurance 
that a volunteer enlisted to-day, or a militiaman enrolled to- 
morrow, can in a week or a month be made an effective soldier. 
More than this, the fact that in the Civil War each side labored 
under the burden of having to use raw levies at first, while in 
any foreign war we might have, our troops would have to encoun- 
ter at once a trained and disciplined force, is entirely ignored. 
The people of this country and the government of this country, 
down to the time of the Spanish War, had pursued a policy which 
seemed utterly to ignore the lessons of the past. It thus has 
happened that instead of an intelligent economy, a short-sighted 
parsimony has been too often practised in respect to the army. 
After the emergency arises, and when it is too late for economical 
preparation, then the legislature opens the treasury by appropria- 
tions and provisions of the greatest liberality to meet the necessi- 


ties which only time and thorough preparation could properly 
and economically meet. 

I hope that we may never have another war. But our experi- 
ence in the past does not justify such a hope. It is our duty, 
therefore, if we would be wise in our generation, to make pro- 
vision for a comparatively small regular army and efficient re- 
serve of volunteers, and an adequate and co-operating force of 
State militia. The necessity of these measures at the present time, 
as well as the blunders and financial short-sightedness which have 
characterized our military policy in the past, are clearly shown by 
Mr. Huidekoper. 

Without concurring in all of his judgments, I can truly say 
that his article deserves the most careful reading and considera- 



Washington, D. C. 

March 24, 1906. 


There is a visible shock to the optimistic mind in two articles 
contained in the current number of The North American 
Eeview. One of these papers bears the title "Our Navy," and 
is a tribute by "An American Citizen," behind which indefinite 
descriptive designation the author seeks to show that the naval 
personnel is in a bad way generally. In discussions of this sort 
a critic gains attention and respect and exercises influence in the 
measure of his sincerity, real or apparent. The first step toward 
establishing that quality is an identity of authorship, and an 
article which comes from no more exclusive source of information 
than "An American Citizen" must be passed by as being of doubt- 
ful value as a contribution to the fund of information to mankind, 
or as lacking in anything virtuous, because the author dares not to 
come out in the open and conduct his warfare. The attack from 
ambush does not occupy a very exalted place in military strategy. 

The other article, being the second installment of Mr. Frederic 
Louis Huidekoper's paper, "Is the United States Prepared for 
War ?" is of a quite different sort. It is a statistical interrogation, 
of which it is well worth seeking the answer in the practical 
preparation for the emergency that Mr. Huidekoper feels we have 
placidly ignored. In the present paper that able writer gives 
specific instances of the uncertainty of militia as an ally of the 
regular military force in time of war, and his citations are im- 
pressive, if not positively sensational. He points out the defects 
which exist in the present militia law, and shows that the country 


is able to gain nothing from the legislative provision of a volun- 
teer reserve, which alone would be of use in time of war, the 
organized militia being limited to service within the United States 
for a period not to exceed nine months. 

Mr. Huidekoper shows, too, that we could safely count upon 
only 144,525 troops for war, one-third of which would be drawn 
from the "untrained militia, which could not stand against the 
regulars of such countries as France or Germany/' With the 
100,000 dependable troops very little could be accomplished 
against the war strength of the armies of Austria or France or 
Germany or Eussia or Great Britain or even Japan. "How long," 
asks Mr. Huidekoper, "could our army cope with the 800,000 
veterans Japan was known to have had in Manchuria?" 

This passage in Mr. Huidekoper's article ought to appeal to 
Congress while it still has under consideration the provision of 
the means of sustaining and supporting an adequate and properly 
equipped military personnel : "Although one is fully ready to 
grant that awful blunders have often been made by the Army itself, 
yet, on the other hand, one cannot refrain from asking whether 
any set of men in whose hands reposes the power to mould the 
military organization and to provide all military supplies has the 
right — moral or otherwise — to send the flower of a country's 
manhood to be sacrificed on the altar of national honor? At the 
very best, 'war is hell;' and when our soldiers are forced to die 
by thousands from wounds, fever, starvation, and lack of medi- 
cines and attention, who will attempt to hold blameless the legis- 
lators who have neglected their duty ? When a man dies through 
the neglect of another man who might have prevented his death, 
does not the law call this neglect by a very dire name and punish 
it accordingly? Is the War Department accountable because, 
when 200,000 trained soldiers are needed at the outbreak of war, 
only half that number are forthcoming ? Is the War Department 
responsible when vast quantities of supplies and medical stores 
are needed, that only a fraction is provided ? Is the War Depart- 
ment to be blamed, when experienced officers are required to lead 
troops and to administer the branches of the staff, and experienced 
surgeons to care for the sick and wounded, because ignorance and 
parsimony at the Capitol refuse to authorize their employment 
or to provide them with proper education? Are Secretaries of 


War to be held at fault because they have inherited vicious sys- 
tems and defective organizations which are utterly inadequate to 
the stress of war, when they were not responsible for the creation 
of them, and when the genius of a Napoleon in their place would 
be powerless to make the proper changes ? Have not the military 
blunders of our legislators cost appallingly enough already ? How 
much longer are Americans to be taxed for the military education 
of our legislators who will not learn ?" 

There is much information in these articles which Mr. Huide- 
koper has written, and it ought to appeal with force to those who 
have hitherto been insanely content to regard this country as 
secure against defeat in the presence of any enemy. He brings 
, out the real situation as we shall some day doubtless know it, 
when it is too late to apply the remedy and when we have bought 
practical experience at the high price of public humiliation and 
needless loss of life. Looking at the situation in an almost 
commercial sense, which is an element introduced by Mr. Huide- 
koper in his several arguments in favor of a sane recognition of 
our danger and a timely application of a cure, it is pointed out 
that the true valuation of real and personal property in this coun- 
try amounted, five or six years ago, to $94,300,000,000. The 
maintenance of the regular army of less than 65,000 officers and 
men last year cost $77,655,162.80, which, as Mr. Huidekoper 
says, "considered from the standpoint of insurance alone, is only 
0.83 mills on the dollar, or 83-1000 of one per cent, on the valua- 
tion of property." An army three times the size of our present 
army would, it is estimated, cost less than twice the above rate, 
or about $1.66 per annum on every $1,000 of property. 

Altogether, Mr. Huidekoper has rendered by this example of 
pessimism a real service to his country, if his article shall succeed 
in gaining that attention which it deserves by reason of the sound- 
ness of its logic, the succinctness of its comment, the reliability 
and pertinence of its statistics,, and the openness and candor of 
its criticism. 


From the 
Journal of the United States Infantry Association 
for April, 1906, pp. 197-198. 

We suggest to all our readers, indeed to all patriotic citizens, a 
careful study of Mr. Huidekoper's articles in the February and 
March numbers of The North American Eeview, entitled "Is 
the United States Prepared for War?" They are very forceful and 
timely. The array of figures and tables with which he supports 
his arguments is startling and disagreeable,, and may well bid 
us pause a moment in our mad rush for wealth, to see what 
measures we have taken to protect this great horde of money 
from the greed of others. 

Military men have had knowledge of the weaknesses in our 
military policy, but dared not publish the truth. Mr. Huide- 
koper, being a civilian and a well-known student of military his- 
tory, cannot be set aside as a military optimist, and as desiring 
an increase in our military establishment for his own advance- 
ment. General Upton was advised by his friends not to publish 
his book on our military policy, as it would be distasteful to the 
volunteers, who were then in high places in the government; so 
it was not until long after his death that his valuable manuscript 
was unearthed and a few limited copies printed. A few of the 
striking statements in the article may be quoted : 

"Never at the beginning of any decade in our national history, 
save one, have our people had as many as one trained soldier to 
every one thousand of population to protect them." Tables to sup- 
port this. "That the militia and volunteers have never failed 
after two years of war — which afford ample time to transform 
them into well-trained soldiers — to acquit themselves with the 
utmost credit in no wise alters the fact that until they have under- 
gone some similar schooling they have never been and never will 
be anything but comparatively raw, undisciplined organizations." 

For the class of fatuous patriots who believes that he is a pre- 
destined hero and a field marshal by birth, such sentences are 
hard reading. 

Washington wrote, September 24, 1776 : "To place any depend- 


ence upon militia is assuredly resting upon a broken staff." Then 
follows a table showing where and when the "Militia Ran Away 
or Deserted" from August 27, 1776, to Bull Eun; next is a table 
showing when and where "The Militia Mutinied" — and last of 
all is the most serious table, showing when "The States Defied 
the United States Government by Refusing to Furnish Their 
Militia to Its Service" which is the weakest link in our govern- 
ment. We cannot make war as a nation unless the States consent 
and willingly furnish their quotas. 

He draws a parallel between the glorious victories of the navy, 
from the days of John Paul Jones down to the present, and the 
disgraceful defeats of the army during the same period, and 
attributes the difference to the fact "that Congress has been wise 
enough to hold jealously to its constitutional right Ho provide and 
maintain a navy,' instead of delegating any part thereof to the 
various States and giving them the power to interfere in naval as 
they can in military affairs. Furthermore, the appointment of 
all naval officers is vested in the President alone, and not given to- 
the Governors of the States, as in the case of the militia volun- 
teers" He might have added that although all of our Presidents 
in the past have believed that lawyers, doctors, farmers, could 
readily command divisions and army corps, they have not yet 
learned that such men can command a line of battleships; when 
that doubt is removed from a President's mind the navy's long 
chain of victories may be roughly broken. 

"It must be borne in mind that we have never yet been pitted 
against the land forces of any first-class military power;" and 
yet how many of our children are taught in school that twice we 
took the British Lion by the tail, thrashed his head against the 
rocks, and left him dead forever? We would have taken his 
kingdom save for the great body of water between us. "It is 
indeed a most lamentable fact that never once have our soldiers- 
gone into a war for which Congress has made the necessary prepa- 
rations beforehand." 

He speaks of the "ignorance and parsimony" governing our 
military policy in peace, and the extravagance and folly of our 
method of conducting war. His statements are amply reinforced 
by quotations from historical and state papers. He illustrates- 
again how the wisdom of Washington, Jefferson, Calhoun, and: 


other really great men has been sown on the wind, and intimates 
what we all must feel — that the whirlwind is forming. 

There is so mnch meat in the article that it is impossible to do 
it justice in extracts. We simply quote enough to give our readers 
a desire for more. The last sentence is the heart cry of every 
true citizen: 

"When will our American people awake to the facts, or when 
will our legislators heed the handwriting on the ivall?" 




When Washington, in a letter to the President of Congress, 
dated August 20th, 1780, said that "it is an old maxim that the 
surest way to make a good peace is to be well prepared for war/' 
he merely repeated in another form what had been said by Eoman 
writers many centuries before his time. One need not be a pro- 
found student of history to be able to appreciate fully the disas- 
ters gratuitously courted by any nation which is not at all times 
thoroughly prepared for a final appeal to arms, or to comprehend 
that rampant patriotism and mere numbers of soldiers do not 
constitute adequate preparations for war; our own Civil War, 
the Franco-German War and the recent struggle between Japan 
and Eussia are sufficient proofs. The French "Grand Army" 
of 1805 was one of the most perfect fighting machines that the 
world has yet seen. Commanded by the greatest strategist of all 
time, its Marshals a group of warriors whose renown has still 
to be equalled by any one set of corps commanders, trained by 
two years of incessant drill at the Armed Camp at Boulogne, 
imbued with unbounded enthusiasm, it is small wonder that it 
proved irresistible at Ulm and later at Austerlitz. Napoleon 
himself declared that the "Army of Austerlitz" was the finest 
he ever commanded, and yet one of his aides-de-camp, Count 
Philippe de Segur,, wrote of it: 

"However, these great armies, just like colossi, are only good to be 
seen at a distance from which many of the defective details are imper- 

heading article in The North American Review for February, 1906. 


Every great general knows only too well how many imperfec- 
tions must exist in the best of armies and even under the most 
favorable circumstances, and it was undoubtedly this knowledge 
which caused General Sherman to declare : 

"I cannot help plead to my countrymen, at every opportunity, to cher- 
ish all that is manly and noble in the military profession, because Peace 
is enervating and no man is wise enough to foretell when soldiers may be 
in demand again." 

We Americans are far too prone to boast that everything we 
possess is "the finest in the world," and we gloat with a pride 
•often offensive over the marvellous achievements of our national 
career. Superficiality, which is a dominant American trait, has 
caused us to slumber under a false security, and to believe that, 
because we have been fortunate enough to be victorious in our 
past wars, we may continue to rest at ease over the future. The 
Monroe Doctrine, with its policy of non-interference in European 
affairs and its dogma that European Powers shall not meddle in 
the affairs of this continent, has contributed to give us a pro- 
vincial standpoint from which even the Spanish-American War 
and our sudden development into a "World Power" have as yet 
been unable to deliver us entirely. Animated by the deeply 
rooted Anglo-Saxon repugnance to a large standing army and 
anything which smacks of militarism in the slightest degree, we 
as a people cling with astonishing tenacity to the ridiculous 
fallacy that a citizen with a musket is fully equal, if not superior, 
to the trained soldier both in courage and efficiency. That we have 
thus far weathered the storms which the American Ship of State 
has encountered seems to us to be ample reason why we should 
content ourselves with the course that we have steered in the past, 
utterly oblivious to the fact that we have apparently forgotten 
the lessons which we ought to have learned, and that in every 
respect, except as concerns our army, we Americans have never 
been satisfied to follow, but have striven, and in most cases 
succeeded in our desire, to lead the rest of the world. 

We pride ourselves that we are a peaceful people which does 
not voluntarily plunge into war; yet our history demonstrates 
that, since the signing of the Declaration of Independence, for 


every four and a half years of peace we have had one year of war. 
The United States has never, thus far, been pitted against the 
land forces of a first-class military Power; England, although 
the leading naval Power of the world since the sixteenth century, 
was not a first-class military Power in 1775-1783, and the blun- 
ders of her Sovereign and Cabinet afforded singular aid to the re- 
volting colonies; even in 1812-1815, she had scarcely attained 
the front rank, and she was, moreover, so involved in her struggle 
against Napoleon that her Peninsular veterans could not be 
sent across the ocean until the close of the war, and consequently 
only participated in the battle of New Orleans, which was fought 
after peace had been signed. 

The military establishment of the United States has always 
consisted of three branches: (1) The Eegular Army; (2) The 
Militia; and (3) The Volunteers. Thanks to the parsimony 
and short-sightedness of Congress, our Eegular Army has invari- 
ably been much too small to meet our requirements in time of 
war — and, indeed, often in time of peace — so that it has always 
been necessary to depend largely upon the Militia and Volunteers. 
"Why not?" the opinionated American will reply with charac- 
teristic superficiality. "Have we not always had plenty of them 
at our disposal? And, surely, you cannot ask for better troops 
than these same Militia and Volunteers were at the close of the 
Civil War." Granting that it would be impossible to find in 
military annals more splendid troops than those which the United 
States possessed in 1865, we must not forget that they were then 
militia and volunteers in name only. Four years of desperate 
fighting had transformed them from extremely raw recruits 
into seasoned veterans of the very highest type. 

We have achieved our phenomenal successes by the application 
of sound business foresight and judgment and progressive busi- 
ness methods to the various problems which we have undertaken 
to solve, and it is consequently surprising that our people have 
not, through their Senators and Eepresentatives in Congress, 
made use of these same methods in dealing with their Army. 
It may accordingly be well to examine briefly what our wars 
have cost us in men and money, and why so little has been learned 
from the lessons which the past ought to have taught us. We 
may begin by scrutinizing the following table: 





Militia, etc. 




Revolution. . . . 

600 9 


471,622 s 









Ab't 150,6053 
Ab't 55,000 7 
Ab't 1,000" 
Ab't 46,00023 

69.751,611 8 
88,500,208 8 
5,371 ,079,7482'' 

See below 

Black Hawk 


See below 
See below 
Footnote 3 " 


J- 15,438,355* 

Probably not one American in a hundred thousand has any 
conception of the outrageous extravagance in men and money 
that has characterized every war in which we have been involved. 
From a purely business standpoint, the above figures are indica- 
tive of puerile short-sightedness and criminal blundering, such 
as would not be tolerated for a moment in any properly managed 
company or corporation in the United States. One example 
drawn from Upton will suffice to demonstrate how needlessly 

a General Emory Upton, "The Military Policy of the United States," 
p. 58. This was published by the War Department in 1904, and is the 
most trustworthy work on the subject ever written. Owing to lack of 
appropriation, it is now out of print. — ^Returns and estimates of the 
Secretary of War; American State Papers, Vol. I, pp. 14-19. — 3 Original 
returns in the British Record Office, quoted by H. B. Carrington, "Bat- 
tles of the American Revolution," pp. 93, 301, 321, 462, 483, 502 and 646 — 
4 Upton, p. 66; Ingersoll, "The Second War," I, p. 14. — 5 Annual report of 
the Commissioner of Pensions, June 30th, 1906, p. 11. — "Records of the 
Adjutant-General's Office. Also Upton, p. 137. — 7 Brannan's Letters and 
Gleig's British Campaigns, quoted by Upton, p. 138. To the above number 
must be added 1,810 militia and 9,825 Indians. — 8 Annual report of the Sec- 
retary of the Treasury, June 30th, 1906, p. 100. Also Upton, p. 141. — 
°39th U. S. Infantry. — "According to the records of the Adjutant-General's 
Office, Georgia, Tennessee and Mississippi furnished 25,779 and North and 
South Carolina 18,142 militia. Of these only 15,000 were actually put 
into the field. — "Upton, p. 119. — "Upton, p. 149. — "Report of the Senate 
Investigating Committee; American State Papers, I, pp. 739-741. — "Rec- 
ords of the Adjutant-General's Office. — "Report of Major-General Macomb, 
commanding the Army, Nov., 1832 ; American State Papers, V, pp. 
29-31.— "Including the Florida War, 1835 to 1842; the Creek War, 183G to 
1838; and the Cherokee War, 1836 to 1838.— "Upton, p. 190.— "Records 
of the Adjutant-General's Office. — "General Call's report to the President, 
Jan. 9th, 1836; American State Papers, VII, p. 218. — 20 The annual report 
of the Commissioner of Pensions, June 30th, 1906, p. 11, gives the total 
pensions paid out for the Indian Wars as amounting to $8,260,143.38. — 
2l Upton, p. 221.— 22 IUd, p. 216.— "Alphabetical List of Battles, 1754-1900, 
pp. 236-237. Compiled from official records by Newton A. Strait. — 
24 Phisterer, Statistical Record of the Armies of the United States (Cam- 
paigns of the Civil War Series), p. 11. — "Official Records in the Office of 
the Military Secretary; Memorandum relative to the probable number of 
and ages of Army and Navy survivors of the Civil War, p. 4 (published 


extravagant we have been,, considering how disproportionately 
small have been the results achieved: 

"The troops called out during this fruitless campaign [1814] numbered: 
Kegulars, 38,186; Militia, 197,653; total, 235,839. 

"Of the militia 46,469 from the State of New York were employed 
on the Canadian frontier, while more than 100,000 from Pennsylvania, 
Maryland and Virginia were called out to repel the incursion of the 
3,500 British along the shores of the Chesapeake. 

"Notwithstanding these enormous drafts, such were the faults of our 
organization and recruitments, that the utmost strength we could put 
forth on the field of battle was represented at Lundy's Lane by less than 
3,000 men. Nor was this evidence of national weakness our only cause 
of reproach. Boasting at the outset of the contest that Canada could be 
'captured icithout soldiers, and that a few volunteers and militia could 
do the business,' our statesmen, after nearly three years of war, had the 
humiliation of seeing their plan of conquest vanish in the smoke of a 
burning capital." 

The lamentable policy of retrenchment in time of peace, to 
which our legislators have invariably adhered, is nothing less than 
the "penny wise, pound foolish" policy which every sane busi- 
ness man heartly condemns. The results entailed by this false 

by the Military Secretary's Office, May 15th, 1905) ; Reply of the Military 
Secretary, dated Aug. 28th, 1905, to the writer's letter of inquiry. The 
total number of soldiers, both regular and volunteer, was 2,672,341. — 
"Battles and Leaders of the Civil War, IV, p. 768. The numbers em- 
ployed by the Confederacy have been variously estimated from 700,000 
to 1,500,000. Livermore, "Numbers and Losses in the Civil War in 
America," p. 63, reckons the numbers between 1,227,890 and 1,406,180. 
These calculations are at best conjectural since, as the Military Secretary 
wrote, on August 28th, 1905, to the author of this article: "No compila- 
tion has ever been prepared by this [the War] Department from which 
even an approximately accurate statement can be made concerning the 
number of troops in the Confederate Army, and it is impracticable to make 
such a compilation because of the incompleteness of the collection of Con- 
federate records in possession of the Department." — ^Senate Executive 
Document No. 206, Forty-sixth Congress, Second Session. Letter of John 
Sherman, Secretary of the Treasury, to Hon. William A. Wheeler, Presi- 
dent of the Senate, June 10th, 1880, transmitting a statement of "Expendi- 
tures necessarily growing out of the War of the Rebellion, July 1st, 1861, to 
June 30th, 1879," a total of not less than $6,189,929,908.58— ^Report of the 
Adjutant-General, Nov. 1st, 1898, in the report of the Secretary of War 
for 1898, pp. 145, 147 and 260.— '"Statistical Exhibit of the Strength of the 
Volunteer Forces called into service during the War with Spain, issued 
by the Adjutant-General, Dec. 13th, 1899. Also Strait, pp. 208-209. — 
""International Year Book for 1898, p. 722; Lodge, "History of the War 
with Spain," p. 18. — "Annual Report of the Secretary of the Treasury, 
June 30th, 1906, p. 102. — "Report of the Adjutant-General, Nov. 1st, 
1898. — "From May, 1898, to April, 1902, both inclusive, according to the 
statement sent to the Senate by the Secretary of War, June 19th, 1902. 



economy furnish a further corroboration of the fact that our 
military policy has always been unsound from a financial as well 
as a numerical standpoint, as will appear from the following 
table : 



1791-1811 » 






Including the War of 1812 . . '. 

Minor Indian Wars. Army averaging under 6,000 officers and 


Florida War 

Peace. Army reduced 

Including the Mexican War 

Peace. Army reduced 

Including the Civil War 

Forces large, because of French occupation of Mexico 

Peace. Army reduced 

Including Spanish- American War 

Including Philippine War 


Total cost since 1790 

Total cost of pensions since 1790 


$35,669,930 65 
82,627,009 14 

90,411,068 59 

69,751,611 50 

13,873,146 89 

88,500,208 38 

168,079,707 57 

2,736,570,923 50 

583,749,510 99 2 

1,211,321,300 94 

321,833.254 76 

391,662.681 06 

473,776,697 34 

3,267,827,081 31 * 

3,500,220,462 79 

What do American taxpayers who have had to foot some of 
these bills think of these figures? How long do they suppose 
that the stockholders in any bank or railway company would 
tolerate any such mismanagement? How long would the officials 
or directors be permitted to remain in power if they could pro- 
duce no better results in return for such enormous expenditures? 
The mere expense of maintaining armaments, however costly, 
is by no means the only item to be considered in war; the out- 
pouring of men to meet the call to arms, the disturbance of all 
business, economic and political conditions are additional factors 
which must not be disregarded. When one considers that sacri- 
fices involving pecuniary loss to every individual have always 
been willingly met, and that our military forces have nearly 
always been disgracefully beaten at the beginning of every war,, 
save one, it is indeed a veritable enigma that the nation has not 
long ago awakened to the mismanagement of its affairs and risen 
in anger against the indignities to which it has been subjected 
by its own servants. 

throughout this table the dates given are "both inclusive" in each 
instance. — including outstanding warrants amounting to $3,621,780.07. — 
'Annual report of the Secretary of the Treasury, June 30th, 1906, pp. 100 
and 102. 


It may be worth while to examine briefly the military history 
of the United States, taking care,, as Upton warns us, 

"to bear in mind the respective duties and responsibilities of soldiers 
and statesmen. The latter are responsible for the creation and organiza- 
tion of our resources, and, as in the case of the President, may further 
be responsible for their management or mismanagement. Soldiers, while 
they should suggest and be consulted on all the details of organization 
under our system, can alone be held responsible for the control and 
direction of our armies in the field." 

In a speech made to both Houses of Congress on December 3d, 
1793, Washington said: 

"I cannot recommend to your notice measures for the fulfilment of our 
duties to the rest of the world without again pressing upon you the 
necessity of placing ourselves in a condition of complete defence, and 
of exacting from them the fulfilment of their duties toward us. The 
United States ought not to indulge a persuasion that, contrary to the 
order of human events, they will forever keep at a distance those painful 
appeals to arms with which the history of every other nation abounds. 
There is a rank due to these United States among nations which will] 
be withheld, if not absolutely lost, by the reputation of weakness. If 
we desire to avoid insult, we must be able to repel it; if we desire to 
secure peace, one of the most powerful instruments of our rising pros- 
perity, it must be known that we are at all times ready for xoar." 

This dictum is applicable with equal force to every nation 
and every era. Why did the United States not attain the front 
rank among the nations of the world until the autumn of 1898 ? 
There is only one answer : because at no time in its national career, 
except at the end of the Civil War, was it capable of showing 
itself fully prepared to repel insult by force of arms at a moment's 

The errors committed during the Bevolutionary War are thus 
vividly told in a letter written on August 20th, 1780, by Wash- 
ington to the President of Congress: 

"To one who has been a witness of the evils brought upon us by short 
enlistments, the system appears to have been pernicious beyond descrip- 
tion, and a crowd of motives press themselves to dictate a change. It 
may easily be shown that all the misfortunes we have met with in the 
military line are to be attributed to this cause. 

"Had we formed a permanent army in the beginning, which, by the 
continuance of the same men in service, had been capable of discipline, 


we never should have had to retreat with a handful of men across the 
Delaware in 1776, trembling for the fate of America, which nothing but 
the infatuation of the enemy could have saved; we should not have 
remained all the succeeding winter at their mercy, with sometimes 
scarcely a sufficient body of men to mount the ordinary guards, liable at 
every moment to be dissipated, if they had only thought proper to march 
against us; we should not have been under the necessity of fighting 
Brandywine, with an unequal number of raw troops, and afterwards of 
seeing Philadelphia fall a prey to a victorious army; we should not 
have been at Valley Forge with less than half the force of the enemy, 
destitute of everything, in a situation neither to resist nor to retire; we 
should not have seen New York left with a handful of men, yet an over- 
match for the main army of these States, while the principal part of 
their force was detached for the reduction of two of them; we should 
not have found ourselves this spring so weak as to be insulted by 5,000 
men, unable to protect our baggage and magazines, their security depend- 
ing on a good countenance and a want of enterprise in the enemy; we 
should not have been, the greatest part of the war, inferior to the enemy, 
indebted for our safety to their inactivity, enduring frequently the morti- 
fication of seeing inviting opportunities to ruin them pass unimproved 
for want of a force which the country was completely able to afford, and 
of seeing the country ravaged, our towns burnt, the inhabitants plundered, 
abused, murdered, with impunity from the same cause. 

"Nor have the ill effects been confined to the military line. A great 
part of the embarrassments in the civil departments flow from the same 
source. The derangement of our finances is essentially to be ascribed to it. 
The expense of the war and the paper emissions have been greatly multi- 
plied by it. We have had a great part of the time two sets of men to feed 
and pay — the discharged men going home, and the levies coming in. This 
was more remarkably the case in 1775 and 1776. The difficulty and cost 
of engaging men have increased at every successive attempt, till among 
the present lines we find that there are some who have received $150 in 
specie for five months' service, while our officers are reduced to the disa- 
greeable necessity of performing the duties of drill sergeants to them, with 
this mortifying reflection annexed to the business, that, by the time they 
have taught these men the rudiments of a soldier's duty, their services 
will have expired and the work recommenced with a new set. The 
consumption of provisions, arms, accoutrements and stores of every kind 
has been doubled in spite of every precaution I could use, not only from 
the cause just mentioned, but from the carelessness and licentiousness 
incident to militia and irregular troops. Our discipline also has been 
much hurt, if not ruined, by such constant changes. The frequent calls 
upon the militia have interrupted the cultivation of the land, and of 
course have lessened the quantity of its produce, occasioned a scarcity, and 
enhanced the prices. In an army so unstable as ours, order and economy 
have been impracticable. No person who has been a close observer of the 
progress of our affairs can doubt that our currency has depreciated with- 


out comparison more rapidly from the system of short enlistments than 
it would have done otherwise. 

"There is every reason to believe that the war has been protracted 
on this account. Our opposition being less, the successes of the enemy 
have been greater. The fluctuation of the army kept alive their hopes, 
and at every period of the dissolution of a considerable part of it they 
have flattered themselves with some decisive advantages. Had we kept 
a permanent army on foot the enemy could have had nothing to hope for, 
and would in all probability have listened to terms long since. 

"If the army is left in the present situation, it must continue an 
encouragement to the efforts of the enemy; if it is put upon a respect- 
able one, it must have a contrary effect, and nothing, I believe, will 
tend more to give us peace the coming winter. Many circumstances will 
contribute to a negotiation. An army on foot not only for another 
campaign, but for several campaigns, would determine the enemy to 
pacific measures, and enable us to insist upon favorable terms in force- 
able language; an army insignificant in numbers, dissatisfied and crum- 
bling to pieces, would be the strongest temptation they could have to 
try the experiment a little longer. It is an old maxim, that the surest 
way to make a good peace is to be be well prepared for war." 

From a military point of view the errors of the Kevolutionary 
War may be summed up under ten headings, viz. : 

(1) Enlisting of volunteers for too short periods of service; (2) en- 
tirely too great a dependence placed upon the militia; (3) substi- 
tuting or increasing the armies in the field by new and untrained or- 
ganizations, instead of keeping the former up to their full strength; 
(4) pernicious use of bounties, both State and National — the logical 
result of short enlistments and dearth of proper provisions for recruit- 
ing; (5) depriving organizations of their officers by detailing them on 
detached duty, owing to the failure to provide the requisite number 
of officers for staff duty, recruiting, etc.; (6) final expedient of drafting 
troops; (7) enormously increased expense caused by the unnecessarily 
large number of troops under pay, the wanton waste resulting from 
lack of discipline and the heavy losses from sickness which is inevitable 
among raw troops; (8) needless protraction of the war, owing to the 
inefficiency of the troops employed; (9) absolute lack of definite policy 
by Congress at any time during the war — consequent inability of the 
commander-in-chief to frame any sound plan of campaign, and the 
necessity of resorting to inadequate and costly makeshifts; and (10) 
unnecessary increase in the pension list. 

Let us now examine briefly the laws enacted by our sage legis- 
lators, and see how much profit they have derived from these awful 
lessons which so nearly lost us our independence. 

In the midst of the most critical period in the history of the 


United States, when the national credit at home and abroad was 
completely exhausted, and when the country was rapidly drift- 
ing into a state of anarchy, Congress on June 2d, 1784, resolved: 

"That the commanding officer be, and he is hereby, directed to dis- 
charge the troops now in the service of the United States, except twenty- 
five privates to guard the stores at Fort Pitt and fifty-five to guard the 
stores at West Point, and other magazines, with a proportionate number 
of officers ; no officer to remain in service above the rank of captain, and 
those privates to be retained who were enlisted on the best terms: Pro- 
vided, That Congress before its recess shall not take other measures 
respecting the disposition of those troops." 

On the very next day, totally ignoring the disasters occasioned 
by employing raw levies during the Eevolution, Congress passed 
the following measure : 

"Whereas a body of troops to consist of 700 non-commissioned officers 
and privates, properly officered, are immediately and indispensably neces- 
sary for securing and protecting the Northwestern frontiers of the United 
States, and their Indian friends and allies, and for garrisoning the posts 
soon to be evacuated by the troops of His Britannic Majesty: 

"Resolved, That it be, and it is hereby recommended to the States 
hereafter named, and as most conveniently situated, to furnish forthwith 
from their militia 700 men, to serve for twelve months unless sooner dis- 
charged, in the following proportions: Connecticut, 165; New York, 165; 
New Jersey, 110; Pennsylvania, 260; making in the whole 700: 

"Resolved, That the Secretary of War take order for forming the said 
troops when assembled into one regiment to consist of eight companies 
of infantry and two of artillery, arming and equipping them in a soldier- 
like manner." 

Within a year, Congress awoke to the realization that these 
militia were totally inadequate, and that regular troops were in- 
dispensable; accordingly, on April 1st, 1785, it resolved: 

"That it is necessary that a body of troops consisting of 700 non- 
commissioned officers and privates be raised for the term of three years, 
unless sooner discharged, for the protection of the Northwestern frontiers, 
to defend the settlers on the land belonging to the United States from the 
depredations of the Indians and to prevent unwarranted intrusion thereon, 
and for guarding the public stores." 

On April 7th and 12th, supplemental legislation was enacted, 
specifying the States which were to furnish the recruits and 


defining the organization of this first regular regiment of the 
United States Army (the present 3d Infantry). 

Shay's rebellion (December, 1786) which seriously imperilled 
the Government arsenal at Springfield, Mass., coupled with a de- 
sire to "save the great expense of transporting new levies to the 
distant frontiers" and "to avail the public of the discipline 
and knowledge of the country" acquired by the Eegulars raised 
in 1785, caused Congress to offer inducements to the men to re- 
enlist by voting, on October 3d, 1787, "that seven hundred non- 
commissioned officers and privates be raised for the term of three 
years, unless sooner discharged." 

In consequence of the adoption and ratification of the Consti- 
tution, the military as well as the civil affairs required overhaul- 
ing, and a War Department was created by the law of August 
7th, 1789. The Act of September 29th laid the foundations of 
our present Army by recognizing "the establishment for the 
troops in the service of the United States," by requiring all 
officers and men to take an oath of allegiance, and by vesting the 
power to appoint officers in the President alone. By virtue of 
the 5th section the President was authorized,, whenever it might 
be necessary to protect the frontiers against the Indians, to call 
into service such militia as he should deem requisite, such militia 
when in service to have the same pay and subsistence as the 

The first general organization of the Army under the Consti- 
tution was effected by the Act of April 30th, 1790, which fixed 
the strength of the regular establishment at one regiment of in- 
fantry and one battalion of artillery, numbering respectively 
962 and 321 officers and men. General Harmar's expedition 
against the Miamis again demonstrated the folly of depending 
upon newly formed militia, and forced Congress to add another 
regiment of Eegulars to be enlisted for three years. By virtue 
of the 8th section of this Act of March 3d, 1791, the President 
was empowered to employ, "for a term not exceeding six months," 
a corps of 2,000 non-commissioned officers, privates and musi- 
cians in addition to, or in place of, the militia, and, if such a 
corps should not be raised in time for active operations, to make 
good the deficiency by raising additional levies or by calling into 
service an equal number of militia; while the 9th section author- 



ized him "to organize the said levies, and alone to appoint 
the commissioned officers thereof, in the manner he may judge 
proper." As Upton remarks : 

"The above legislation merits our closest scrutiny. Here was laid the 
foundation of the volunteer system, which attained its fullest develop- 
ment during our long Civil War. The 'levies,' known later as 'volunteers,' 
were authorized under the plenary power of Congress to 'raise and sup- 
port armies,' and the power of appointing their officers was given the 
President, to whom it obviously belonged, as the 'levies' were wholly 
distinct from the militia or State troops. 

"The subsequent transfer of this power from the President to the Gov- 
ernors of the States was a voluntary return to the practice under the 
Confederation and a surrender of the prerogatives of the General Govern- 
ment under the Constitution." 

The disastrous rout of General St. Clair's expedition by the 
Indians caused Congress to increase the strength of the Army 
to 258 officers and 5,414 men, by the Act of March 5th, 1792. 
For the succeeding twenty years the legislative enactments,, de- 
pending largely upon our foreign relations and upon the troubles 
with the Indians, caused the force of the Eegular Army to vary 
greatly, as will be seen from the following table : 






1796 to 1798 












1800 to 1801 

1802 to 1808 



1808 to 1812 


During this entire period, by far the most important measure 
was the Act of March 16th, 1802, in which the repeated urgings 
of Washington, Hamilton, Knox and Pickering were heeded by 
the establishment of a Military Academy at West Point; and only 
second in importance to the above law, was the Act of March 2d, 
1799, the provisions of which would unquestionably have pre- 
vented most of our subsequent disasters had they only been re- 

*F. B. Heitman, "Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States 
Army, 1789 to 1903," II, p. 626. This work was compiled from official 
sources. The actual strength of the Army was naturally always less than 
the authorized strength. 


tained in force. From 1802 to 1808, all Congressional measures, 
whether offensive or defensive, were directed toward the almost 
exclusive use of the militia and volunteers. Notwithstanding that 
a quarrel with England had been brewing since 1807, and by 
1810 was recognized to be unavoidable, Congress was so culpably 
negligent of the urgent needs of the nation for additional pro- 
tection that, in July, 1812, the Army did not actually exceed 
6,686 officers and men, short enlistments were again resorted 
to and the outbreak of war found the entire military establish- 
ment in the utmost chaos. The fruits of the vicious military 
policy which had been so persistently followed by Congress were 
reaped in a succession of failures, defeats and disgraces, culmi- 
nating with the burning of Washington, which are still an in- 
delible blot upon our national history, and few of us realize that, 
in spite of our employment of nearly half a million militia 
and volunteers, "the only decisive victory of the War of 1812 be- 
fore the conclusion of the treaty of peace was at the tattle of the 
Thames, where the force of the British regulars dispersed and 
captured numbered but little more than 800." 

In 1814, the Army numbered on paper 62,674 officers and men, 
whereas its actual strength in September of that year was only 
38,186, and the succession of disasters caused desertion to such 
an extent that by February, 1815, it had dwindled to 33,424. 
At the close of the war, the policy of retrenchment was again 
resorted to, and by the Act of March 3d, 1815, the Army was 
reduced to 10,024. The Act of April 24th, 1816, important as 
it was in many respects, did not affect the strength of the Army 
which fell off until it reached a minimum of 5,211 in 1822, by 
virtue of the Act of March 2d, 1821, which reduced its paper 
strength of 12,664 to 6,183. The actual force of Eegulars did 
not vary 2,000 from that number for seventeen years until the 
complications with Great Britain caused Congress to increase it 
to 12,539 by the Acts of July 5th and 7th, 1838, although the 
maximum actual strength of 11,169 was not attained until Novem- 
ber, 1841. On August 23d, 1842, only nine days after the official 
announcement of the termination of hostilities in the Florida 
War, Congress lost no time in reducing the Army to 8,613, which 
constituted approximately its strength until the outbreak of the 
Mexican War on May 11th, 1846. Within the next ten months 


and by virtue of seven Acts of Congress, the military establish- 
ment was increased on paper to 30,865 — although its actual num- 
bers in November, 1847, did not exceed 21,686; but the very 
month after the ratification of the treaty of peace had been pro- 
claimed, it was forthwith reduced to 10,317 (Act of August 14th, 
1848), remaining within 1,000 of this number until November, 
1854. The hostility of the Indians caused the President to avail 
himself of the authority given him by the Act of June 17th, 
1850, and to order the companies west of the Mississippi to be 
recruited up to their full complement; this order, in conjunction 
with the Act of March 3d, 1855, gave the Army an actual force 
of 15,752 officers and men, from which it did not vary 1,800 until 
the outbreak of the Civil War. 

Throughout the entire period from 1802 to 1860 and notwith- 
standing the lessons of the Eevolution, which each succeeding 
war demonstrated anew, Congress persisted, whenever hostilities 
were imminent or larger forces than the Eegular Army were re- 
quired, in confiding the destinies of the nation to a hurriedly 
collected militia, which, by the very nature of its composition 
and lack of training, was utterly unfit to cope with the situation. 
Added to the lack of a sound military policy displayed by our 
legislators in adhering to short enlistments, in increasing the 
armies in the field by raw organizations, in the use of bounties 
and in repeating all the mistakes made during the War of In- 
dependence, the incapacity of the militia obliged the Government 
to employ many times the number which would have amply 
sufficed had trained soldiers been used, needlessly prolonged 
wars that could have been terminated much sooner and caused 
expenditures which the magnitude of the operations never once 
justified. The Mexican War alone added real lustre to the Ameri- 
can arms; and this may be reasonably attributed to the fact that 
circumstances permitted enough time to be gained at the be- 
ginning of the war to give the volunteers some much-needed 
training, and that the Government was wise enough to employ 
a larger percentage (30 per cent.) of Eegular troops than in 
any war before or since. The value of trained forces is evinced 
by the fact that they achieved an unbroken chain of victories, 
notwithstanding that official documents prove that their suc- 
cesses were won "under the very same system of laws and ex- 


ecutive orders which, in the preceding foreign war (1812), had 
led to a series of disasters culminating in the capture and de- 
struction of our capital/' 

How little heed had been paid by Congress to the lessons of the 
past has been thus admirably summarized by Upton : 

"At the close of the year 1860, we presented to the world the spectacle 
of a great nation nearly destitute of military force. Our territory from 
ocean to ocean exceeded 3,000,000 square miles; our population numbered 

"The Regular Army, as organized, consisted of 18,093 officers and men, 
but according to the returns it numbered only 16,367. 

"The line of the Army was composed of 198 companies, of which 183 
were stationed on the frontier or were en route to distant posts west of 
the Mississippi. The remaining 15 companies were stationed along the 
Canadian frontier and on the Atlantic coast from Maine to the Gulf of 

"As a guard for the national frontiers, the Army could not fkirnish 
two soldiers per mile; for protecting the settlements in the States and 
Territories west of the Mississippi but one soldier was available for every 
120 square miles; to aid in the enforcement of the laws in the remaining 
States of the Union we had but one soldier for every 1,300 square miles. 

"The militia for a sudden emergency were scarcely more available than 
the Army. Nominally they numbered more than 3,000,000, but mostly 
unorganized. So destitute were they of instruction and training that — 
a few regiments in the large cities excepted — they did not merit the name 
of military force. 

"Such was the condition of the national defence when, on the 20th 
of December, 1860, South Carolina in convention passed the ordinance 
of secession." 

It is beyond the scope of this article to describe in extenso all 
the errors committed during the Civil War. Suffice it to say that, 
for want of a Eegular Army of sufficient size and expansive- 
ness, or a proper force of trained militia capable of crushing 
the Confederacy at its inception, recourse had to be had to raw 
troops, in which the President and his Cabinet showed at the 
outset the same blind confidence which their predecessors had 
manifested in 1812. The logical result followed; these undis- 
ciplined volunteers ran away in a most disgraceful manner at 
the first battle of Bull Eun, and the opening year of the war was 
marked by an almost unbroken chain of disasters, in spite of 
the fact that the Government called out no less than 807,557 
troops — 669,243 of which responded — at a cost of more than 


$238,000,000. Oblivious to the lessons of preceding wars, the 
folly of short enlistments was again committed, the Constitu- 
tion had to be violated in order to meet the sudden emergency, 
the armies in the field were reinforced by new and untrained 
regiments, which, through ignorance and lack of discipline, suf- 
fered from unnecessary sickness, causing at the same time crimi- 
nal waste and expense. Large bounties and even forced drafting 
had to be resorted to within two years and, lastly, no definite 
military policy worthy of the name was followed until Gen- 
eral Grant was appointed Co mm ander-in-Chief. In a word, all 
the errors of the Eevolution were repeated ad nauseam. Blunder 
after blunder was committed by volunteer officers whose ignorance 
was only excelled by their courage, yet Congress never per- 
mitted the Eegular Army to be increased beyond a paper strength 
of 39,273 officers and men (Acts of July 29th and August 3d, 
1861). This dearth of properly trained soldiers at the beginning 
of hostilities caused the war to be needlessly prolonged for four 
years; and, indeed, it is highly doubtful if it would have been 
brought to a successful termination even then had it not been 
for the iron circle of blockade which the Navy drew around 
the coasts of the Confederacy. At the close of the war, the vol- 
unteers had acquired a training which made them comparable 
to any armies that have ever existed, but at what an awful cost; 
more than 2,600,000 had had to be called into service, the United 
States Government spent no less than $5,775,910,672.78, and the 
pensions paid out for this war alone have amounted to the fabu- 
lous sum of $3,259,195,306.60. On March 31st, 1862— nearly 
one year after the outbreak of the war — the United States had in 
service an army of 637,126 regulars and volunteers, whereas the 
Confederacy possessed only 200,000 and nevertheless was un- 
subdued. The difference between the respective policies has been 
thus admirably epitomized by Upton: 

"The Government sought to save the Union by fighting as a Confed- 
eracy; the Confederates sought to destroy it by fighting as a nation. The 
Government recognized the States, appealed to them for troops, adhered 
to voluntary enlistments, gave the Governors power to appoint all com- 
missioned officers and encouraged them to organize new regiments. The 
Confederates abandoned State sovereignty, appealed directly to the people, 
took away from them the power to appoint commissioned officers, vested 
their appointment in the Confederate President, refused to organize war 


regiments, abandoned voluntary enlistments, and, adopting the republican 
principle that every citizen owes his country military service, called into 
the army every white man between the ages of 18 and 35." 

When the Confederacy was at last crashed and the great armies 
of veteran volunteers had been disbanded, the disturbed con- 
dition of the South and the violation of the Monroe Doctrine 
by the French invasion of Mexico compelled Congress to in- 
crease the Eegular Army to 54,641 by the Act of July 28th, 
1866; but, three years later, when the French Government had 
withdrawn its forces, the Army was reduced to 37,313 by the 
Act of March 3d, 1869. A succession of Acts, culminating 
in that of June 26th, 1876, effected a further reduction to 27,472 
officers and men, the maximum of enlisted men being definitely 
fixed at 25,000 by the Act of June 16th, 1874. For the follow- 
ing twenty-two years, the actual strength of the military establish- 
ment never exceeded 28,000, until the Act of March 8th, 1898, 
added two regiments of artillery, thus bringing its number up 
to 28,747 on paper. In spite of all the lessons of the past, we 
have seen, as Captain Ehodes points out in his admirable Gold 
Medal Prize Essay of the Military Service Institution for 1904, 

"The war with Spain, declared from the 21st of April, 1898, found 
us with the smallest Regular Army, in proportion to population, that 
we have had at the beginning of any of our wars. It consisted of but 
2,143 officers and 26,040 enlisted men, or less than four-tenths of one per 
cent, of our estimated population." 

Although Congress, by the Act of April 26th, 1898, authorized 
an increase of the Eegular Army to 64,719, the actual operations 
necessarily began much too soon to permit this augmentation to 
be effected in time to meet the emergency; and, as usual, re- 
course was had to the militia, from which 200,000 volunteers 
were called out by the President's proclamations of April 22d 
and May 25th. As Captain Ehodes tells us : 

"A not unexpected deduction from our experiences in the Mexican and 
Civil Wars was that the efficiency of American volunteers was to be 
measured by the previous training, professional zeal and soldierly disci- 
pline of their officers. The enlisted personnel has ever been of splendid 
natural quality, and has not varied considerably in different regiments. 
Trained officers have by no means been numerous. 


"The Spanish War was no exception in this respect, because the same 
obsolete system of selection of officers was followed as in former wars, 
and naturally the same results followed." 

The events of this war are still too vivid in the minds of all 
of us to require chronicling here. Congress, as usual, failed 
to provide the necessary supplies until the very eve of mobiliza- 
tion and concentration, so that some of the volunteer regiments 
reported for duty without arms, accoutrements, ammunition or 
clothing. The confusion in the various camps, the dearth of 
proper supplies and equipment, the lack of adequate means of 
transport, the wild chaos at Tampa, the criminal waste of pro- 
visions which could not be found, the bungling which marked the 
embarking at Tampa and the landing at Daiquiri and Siboney, 
the blundering conduct of the operations culminating at Santiago 
and the wholly unnecessary sufferings of the troops by reason 
of their ignorance, coupled with the paucity of medical stores, 
field and base hospitals, afford a spectacle of unpreparedness 
and incapacity of which we Americans ought to be heartily 
ashamed. Judged by a purely military standard, the invasion 
of Cuba was a trivial affair; but never in modern times has there 
been an expedition which contained so many elements of weak- 
ness; that it succeeded at all is, indeed, a marvel. The dis- 
orders, demoralization and incapacity which attended the opening 
operations were nothing but the logical outcome of the unwill- 
ingness of Congress to prepare for war until the last possible 
moment, and merely demonstrated once again the utterly vicious 
system to which our legislators have persistently bound us, by 
neglecting to provide a force of thoroughly trained soldiers either 
large enough or elastic enough to meet the requirements of war 
as well as of peace, supported by a militia which has previously 
had sufficient training to make it, when called out as volunteers, 
fairly dependable against the regular forces of other nations. 


II 1 


When the progressive American business man, firm, company 
or corporation desires to have affairs properly conducted, one 
rule is invariably observed, viz.,, men specially trained for that 
particular business are employed in numbers proportioned to 
its requirements under any and all circumstances. We all sym- 
pathize with the Israelites who had to make bricks without straw ; 
but, in some respects, Pharaoh was no harder taskmaster than 
Congress has been, inasmuch as the Army is supposed to be able 
to cope with every possible emergency, although the requisite 
strength has yet to be given it. Never at the beginning of any 
decade in our national history, save one, have our people had 
as many as one trained soldier to every one thousand of popula- 
tion to protect them, as will appear from the following table: 


Population of the 

Actual strength of the 

Number of soldiers per 

United States. 

Regular Army. 

1,000 of population. 

















































When any individual or combination of individuals strives 
for the acquisition or control of a valuable business advantage or 
has any important negotiation to transact, the most experienced 
and best trained of its officials or agents are invariably selected for 
the work. Per contra, Congress has persistently neglected its best 
trained forces in favor of comparatively raw and inexperienced 
soldiers ; and, in time of crisis, it has never failed to place its main 
dependence on the latter. Since war is the severest test to which 
human forces can be subjected, the folly of this procedure has 
naturally been reiterated ad nauseam. That the Militia and 

a THE North American Review for March, 1906. 


Volunteers have never failed after two years of war — which 
afford ample time to transform them into well-trained soldiers — 
to acquit themselves with the utmost credit in no wise alters 
the fact that, until they have undergone some similar school- 
ing, they have never been, and never will be, anything but com- 
paratively raw, undisciplined organizations. This was clearly 
pointed out by Washington, who wrote to the President of Con- 
gress on September 24th, 1776, as follows: 

"To place any dependence upon militia is assuredly resting upon a 
"broken staff. Men just dragged from the tender scenes of domestic life, 
unaccustomed to the din of arms, totally unacquainted with every kind 
of military skill (which is followed by want of confidence in themselves 
when opposed by troops regularly trained, disciplined, and appointed, 
superior in knowledge and superior in arms ) , are timid and ready to fly 
from their own shadows. 

"Besides, the sudden change in their manner of living, particularly in 
their lodging, brings on sickness in many, impatience in all, and such 
an unconquerable desire of returning to their respective homes, that it 
not only produces shameful and scandalous desertions among themselves, 
but infuses the like spirit in others. Again, men accustomed to un- 
bounded freedom and no control cannot brook the restraint which is 
indispensably necessary to the good order and government of an army, 
without which licentiousness and every kind of disorder triumphantly 
reign. To bring men to a proper degree of subordination is not the work 
of a day, a month, or even a year. . . . Certain I am that it would 
be cheaper to keep 50,000 or 100,000 in constant pay than to depend 
upon half the number and supply the other half occasionally by militia. 
The time the latter are in pay before and after they are in camp, assem- 
bling and maching, the waste of ammunition, the consumption of stores, 
which, in spite of every resolution or requisition of Congress, they must 
be furnished with or sent home, added to other incidental expenses conse- 
quent upon their coming and conduct in camp, surpass all idea and destroy 
every kind of regularity and economy which you could establish among 
fixed and settled troops, and will, in my opinion, prove, if the scheme 
is adhered to, the ruin of our cause." 

Although it would be manifestly unjust to blame the Militia 
for their ignorance, when our laws have never provided them 
with the requisite military training, and although we must not 
withhold the praise which they have always richly merited when- 
ever, as Volunteers, they have at last received sufficient school- 
ing in actual warfare,, yet it must be confessed that, as a purely 
military asset, their value has fallen far short of what it ought 



to have been, and that their history has fully justified Washing- 
ton's estimate, as the following exhibits will demonstrate : 




Organization or Expedition. 

August 27th, 1776 
Sept. 15th, 1776 

Parsons' brio-ade. 1 

Evacuation of New York. 

Brigades of Parsons and 

Fellows. 2 


Sept. 11th, 1777 
Aug. 16th, 1780 

Sullivan's division. 3 

Camden, S- C 

Virginia and South Caro- 
lina brigades.* 

Guilford Court House, 

N. C 

March 15th, 1781 

North Carolina regi- 

ment. 5 

Indian village near Fort 

Wayne, Ind 

Oct. 22nd, 1790 

Harmar's Miami expedi- 
tion. 8 

Darke County, Ohio 

Nov. 4th, 1791 

St. Clair's expedition. 7 

Frenchtown and Raisin 

River, Mich 

Jan. 18th-22nd, 1813 
May 29th, 1813 

Winchester's column. 8 

Sackett's Harbor 

Gen. Brown's command. 9 

French Creek, N. Y 

Nov. 1st to 5th, 1813 

Gen. Hampton's column. 11 ' 

Chrystler's Field, Canada 

Nov. 11th, 1813 . 

Gen. Wilkinson's col- 
umn. 11 

Evacuation of Fort 

George, Niagara River. 

Dec. 10th, 1813 

Gen. McClure's N. Y. 
militia. 12 

Burning of Buffalo, and 

Black Rock, N. Y 

Dec. 30th, 1813 

Gen. McClure's N. Y. 
militia. 13 

Bladensburg, Md 

Aug. 24th, 1814 

Maryland, Virginia and 
District of Columbia 
Militia and Volunteers 
under Gen. Winder. 14 

New Orleans, La 

Jan. 8th, 1815 

800 militia, under Gen. 
Morgan, posted on the 
west bank of the Mis- 
sissippi. 15 

Lake Okeechobee, Fla . . . 

Dec. 25th, 1837 

Missouri volunteers and 
spies. 16 

Bull Run, Virginia 

July 21st, 1861 

Gen. McDowell's entire 
force of militia. 17 

Harrington, "Battles of the American Revolution," p. 209. — Wash- 
ington's letter to the President of Congress, Sept. 16th, 1776. Sparks, 
TV, p. 94. — ^Greene's report; Sullivan's communication to Congress; 
Sparks, V, Appendix, p. 462; Carrington, pp. 370-380. — Hen. Henry Lee, 
"Memoirs of the War in the Southern Department of the United States," 
I, pp. 178-185; Tarleton's "Campaign in North Carolina," pp. 106-109. 
In contrast to their comrades, the North Carolinians of Dixon's regiment 
greatly distinguished themselves. — Harrington, 556-562. — 6 Report of the 
Court of Inquiry. Upton, p. 77. — ^Report of the Investigating Committee 
of the House of Representatives. — ''Upton, p. 109. — "Gen. J. Brown's Re- 




Morristown, N. J 

Pompton, N. J . . 
Lancaster, Pa . . . 

On the march from Ur- 
bana, Ohio, to Detroit. 

Detroit, Mich 

On the march from Fort 
Harrison, Ind., to the 
Wabash and Illinois 

En route to the rapids of 
the Maumee River .... 

En route from Platts- 
burg, N. Y., to Canada, 

Battle of Queenstown. 

Fort Strother, Fla. 

Retreat to Buffalo after 
evacuation of Fort 

Withlacoochee River, Fla 

Charlestown, W. Va. 


Jan. 1st, 1781 

Jan. 24th-28th, 1781 
June, 1783 

June, 1812 
July, 1812 

Oct. 19th, 1812 

Oct., 1812 

Nov., 1812 

Oct. 13th, 1813 

Nov., 1813 

Dec., 1813 
Dec. 31st, 1835 

July 16th-18th, 1861 


Pennsylvania Line ( 6 reg- 
iments) 1,300 men. 18 

New Jersey Line. 10 

80 recruits, joined by 
200 other malcontents, 
marched to Philadel- 
phia, demanded their 
pay and held Congress 
prisoner for several 
hours on June 21st, 
1783. 20 

General Hull's militia. 21 
180 Ohio Militia of 
Hull's command. 22 

4,000 Kentucky mounted 
militia under General 
Hopkins. 23 

Kentucky, Virginia and 
Ohio Militia under Gen. 
W. H. Harrison. 2 * 

Nearly all the 3,000 
militia under General 
Dearborn. 25 

New York Militia under 
Generals Van Rensse- 
laer and Wadsworth. 26 

Tennessee Militia and 
Volunteers. 27 

General McClure's New 
York Militia. 28 

Florida Militia and Vol- 
unteers under Gov. 
Call. Clinch's expedi- 
tion. 2 " 

Militia of the Army of 
the Shenandoah. 30 

port to the Secretary of War, June 1st, 1813; Fay's Collection of Official 
Accounts . . . of all the Battles . . . during the Years 1812, 1813, 1814 and 
1815, pp. 101-103.— '"Report of Col. Purdy, 4th New York Militia ; American 
State Papers, I, pp. 479-480.— "Upton, p. 113.— "Report of Gen. McClure 
to the Secretary of War; American State Papers, I, pp. 486-487. — "Letter 
of General Cass to the Secretary of War, Jan. 12th, 1S14; American State 







Cause and reason for refusal. 



April, 1812 

Denied right of President 
or Congress to deter- 
mine when such exi- 
gencies arise as to re- 
quire calling out of 
militia. Claimed that 
"this right is vested 
in the commanders-in- 
chief of the militia of 
the several States." 31 

Connecticut .. . 


April, 1812 

Substantially the same 
contention as the 
above. 32 



Nov. 10th, 1813 

Declared that "the mili- 
tary strength and re- 
sources of this State 
must be reserved for its 
own defence and pro- 
tection exclusively. 33 



Sept., 1814 

Refused to order militia 
to support Gen. Ma- 
comb in repelling the 
enemy . s * 


Letcher ") 

No. Carolina. . 






April, 1861 






Papers, I, pp. 487-488. — "American State Papers, I, pp. 524-575; Arm- 
strong's "Notices of the War of 1812," II, p. 152.— ^Parton's "Life of 
Andrew Jackson," II, p. 213; Goodwin's "Biography of Andrew Jackson," 
pp. 151-155; Upton, pp. 135-136. — "Official Report of General Zachary 
Taylor, Jan. 4th, 1838; American State Papers, VII, pp. 987-988. Per 
contra, Barnes' "Commonwealth of Missouri," p. 237. — "Official reports of 
General McDowell and Colonel Heintzelman; Moore's "Rebellion Record," 
II, Document I, pp. 2-7 and 25-27. The regulars alone retired in perfect 
order; Official Report of Major Sykes, ibid, pp. 24-25. — ls Sparks, VII, pp. 
359-387; Fiske, "American Revolution," II, pp. 240-242; Carrington, pp. 
537-538.— I9 Fiske, II, pp. 242-243; Upton, p. 55.— 20 "The Madison Papers," 
I, pp. 551-553; Sparks, VIII, pp. 455-456; Fiske, "Critical Period of Amer- 
ican History," pp. 117-118. — 21 Hull's appeal to the public in his Memoirs 
of the Campaign of 1812, pp. 34-35.— 22 Hull's Memoirs. On Aug. 16th, 
1812, Hull's entire garrison at Detroit surrendered to the British. How 
much value the enemy placed on the Militia is evinced by the fact that 
they were allowed to return home, whereas the 320 Regulars were sent 
to Montreal as prisoners. — 23 Upton, p. 99. — 2i Ibid. Harper's "Encvclopav 
dia of U. S. History," IV, pp. 266-267.— 25 Ingersoll's "Second War," I, 
p. 101. — 28 Van Rensselaer's "Affair of Queenstown," p. 10 and Appendix. 
p. 62; Armstrong's "Notices of the War of 1812," II, pp. 100-107, and 
Appendix No. 12, pp. 207-219.— "Parton's "Life of Andrew Jackson," I, 


Is not the above a glorious record for Americans to contem- 
plate ? — Americans are so prone to boasting of the prowess of their 
citizen-soldiers. Yet these results are by no means surprising, 
in view of the utter lack of a definite military policy which has 
always characterized the measures of the legislators who frame 
our military laws and mould our military organizations. In 
every walk of life the value of skilled labor is fully recognized, 
and specially trained men are invariably selected in preference 
to unskilled. Yet Congress has never failed to place its main 
dependence upon the unskilled citizen-soldier. Every schoolboy 
knows that no enthusiasm, however great, will win athletic vic- 
tories without long weeks and even months of careful training; 
our sages in the Capitol have shown that they believe that, be- 
cause our people individually possess courage, fortitude and self- 
reliance in the highest degree, they must necessarily possess the 
same qualities when aggregated as soldiers. At certain periods 
— as, for example, that just prior to the first battle of Bull Kun — 
the measures passed demonstrated that Congress actually believed 

pp. 459-462. This furnished a very amusing incident; first, the Militia 
mutinied and were suppressed by the Volunteers; then, the Volunteers 
revolted and were brought to order by the Militia. — ^Reports of General 
McClure to the Secretary of War; American State Papers, I, pp. 486- 
487. — "Official Report of Major-General Macomb, commanding the 
army, to the Secretary of War, Nov., 1836, and Report of Gen. 
Call to Gen. Jackson, Jan. 9th, 1836; American State Papers, VI, p. 
817, and VII, p. 218. — "°Gen. Patterson's Reports to the Adjutant- 
General; Report of the Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War, III, 
pp. 126-127, 132, 138-139.— 31 Opinion delivered by Theophilus Parsons, 
Samuel Sewell and Isaac Parker, three judges of the Mass. Supreme 
Court; American State Papers, I, p. 324. Hart says ("Formation of 
the Union," p. 215) that "The general government had no means of 
enforcing its construction of the Constitution. It did, however, with- 
draw garrisons from the New England forts, leaving those States to 
defend themselves ; and refused to send them their quota of the arms 
which were distributed among the States. This attitude was so well 
understood, that during the first few months of the Avar, English cruisers 
had orders not to capture vessels owned in New England. As the war 
advanced, these orders were withdrawn, and the territory of Massa- 
chusetts in the District of Maine was invaded by British troops. An 
urgent call for protection was then made upon the general government; 
but, even in this crisis, Massachusetts would not permit her militia 
to pass under the control of national military officers." — 32 Upton, p. 97. — 
s Tngersoll's "Second War," II, pp. 26-27; Hart, p. 215.— M Ingersoll, II, 
p. 133. It was not until 1827 that the question was finally adjudicated 
in the case of Martin vs. Mott, when the Supreme Court of the United 
States decided that it was reserved to the President alone to judge when 
the exigency arises in which he has the constitutional right to call out 
the militia, and that his decision was binding. Kent's Commentaries, I,, 
p. 279. 


that an army animated by patriotism needed neither instruc- 
tion nor discipline to prepare it for war. 

It is a well-known maxim in business that the efficiency of the 
management of every firm, bank, company or corporation depends 
upon the capabilities of its officials. Inasmuch as the bulk of the 
troops which the United States has employed in time of war has 
always consisted of Militia and Volunteers,, the officers of which, 
drawn from professional and mercantile pursuits, have of necessity 
had but little time or opportunity to master the multifarious 
details which ought to be familiar to every one whose duty it is 
to lead troops, is it surprising that their operations in war have 
been attended with mistakes which have often cost appallingly? 
Actuated by the highest motives, sacrificing their business and 
family interests for the purpose of serving their country, excelled 
by none in personal courage, these officers cannot justly be blamed 
for their ignorance; they are not responsible for the fact that 
they have never been provided with the education and training 
necessary to fit them to cope with the many difficult problems of 
war. No sound business corporation would dream for an instant 
of entrusting the management of its affairs to officials so compara- 
tively inexperienced, and consequently so inferior, as the officers 
of the Militia and Volunteers. 

It is for this very reason that the record of our land forces 
suffers sadly when compared with the record of our Navy, which 
has achieved an almost unbroken succession of splendid victories, 
from the days of John Paul Jones down to the present time. 
The education, training and personnel of the officers and men of 
the Navy being substantially on the same plane with those of their 
confreres in the Eegular Army, the fundamental reason lies 
deeper. It rests in the fact that Congress has been wise enough 
to hold jealously to its constitutional right "to provide and main- 
tain a navy," instead of delegating any part thereof to the various 
States and giving them the power to interfere in naval as they 
can in military affairs. Furthermore, the appointment of all 
naval officers is vested in the President alone, and not given to 
the Governors of the States, as in the case of the Militia and 
Volunteers. The consequence is that "the honor of our flag and 
the protection of the persons and property of our citizens have 
been entrusted to disciplined seamen, commanded by officers of 


professional training and experience." The merits of this 
system over that pursued in respect to the major part of our 
land forces need no commentary; the results speak for them- 

War has never been anything more or less than a prize-fight 
between the armed forces of opposing nations, and every man 
who has ever been in a fight of any sort knows the value of being 
able to deliver staggering blows at the outset. That incalculable 
advantage is conferred by the initiative in war, but that this 
advantage can never be maintained without a consistent course 
of action, supported by the requisite strength of one's armies in 
the field, was thoroughly taught by Napoleon, and the Japanese 
have been the last to demonstrate the soundness of his maxim. 
In order to attain these desiderata, the sine qua non always has 
been and always will be perfect readiness, and, other things being 
equal, victory has invariably attended the nation which was the 
more thoroughly prepared for war. Modern competition has 
assisted in hastening the crisis in every struggle,, military, com- 
mercial or otherwise, and the first blow now follows so closely 
after the declaration of hostilities that no time is given for prepa- 
ration, and even less for any careful study of plans for prepara- 
tion. Hence it is that the nations of the world maintain military 
attaches and spies to watch the progress of military preparations 
elsewhere, in order that no other nation may be better prepared 
than themselves. The Scriptural parable anent the five wise and 
five foolish virgins is quite as applicable to modern armies as it 
was to the bridegroom of old. 

Is the United States prepared to go to war with the military 
forces of the great nations in whose category we consider our- 
selves? We are reluctantly compelled to answer most positively, 
"No." The doubting Thomases will try to refute this reply by 
citing the fact that we possess a Eegular Army numbering in time 
of war 100,000 troops excelled by none, and no less than 105,693 
officers and men from the organized militia of the States which 
would serve as a second line. We retort: "Is this an adequate 
force? How efficient will this Militia be when called out as Vol- 
unteers?" Let us pause a moment to glance at the legislation 
enacted since the Spanish- American War. 

Under the Act of March 2nd, 1899, United States Volunteers 


were organized for service in the Philippines. Captain Bhodes 

"As Volunteer regiments, it has been the almost unanimous verdict 
that they have never been surpassed. Certainly never, in such a short 
space of time, have such excellent troops been organized, trained and put 
in the field. 

"If the cause of this efficiency be analyzed, it will be found to have 
resulted from four factors : 

"(1) In most cases the field-officers of the regiments were selected from 
experienced officers of the regular service; (2) the company officers were 
principally selected by the War Department, from officers who had served 
creditably in State organizations during the war with Spain; (3) the 
fact that from this method of selection the officers were in no way under 
obligations to the men under them; (4) from careful selection of the 
enlisted personnel, accepting only the physically perfect, and after en- 
listment summarily discharging those deficient in the qualifications of a 
good soldier. 

"Under this Act of Congress, 1,524 officers and 33,050 men were en- 
listed, organized, equipped and instructed, and were on their way to 
their destination in less than six months from the date of passage of the 
law. They proved themselves a thoroughly reliable force in the Philip- 
pines, and it was largely through their aid that the Philippine insurrec- 
tion was checked, and relapsed into guerilla warfare." 

Judged by the results obtained, this was a most admirable 
measure; but, unfortunately, it was limited to special conditions. 
On July 4th, 1902, the period of hostilities in the Philippines 
was officially announced to have terminated; the raison d'etre for 
this force having ceased to exist, the regiments were subsequently 
brought back to the United States and mustered out, and the law 
ceased to be operative. 

The next and last Congressional measure was "An Act to pro- 
mote the efficiency of the Militia, and for other purposes," ap- 
proved January 21st, 1903, and commonly known as "The Dick 
Bill." As originally introduced, it contained a number of ad- 
mirable provisions; but, as in the past, it ended in a compromise 
measure containing some extremely glaring defects, which sub- 
stantially defeated the very purpose for which the measure was 
framed. The merits and demerits of the bill may be summarized 


(1) Defines what citizens are liable to, and exempted from, military 
duty; (2) specifies the manner of calling out the Militia; (3) provides 


for the issuing of arms, ammunition and other military supplies by the 
United States Government; (4) provides for regular inspections of the 
Militia by army officers detailed by the Secretary of War; (5) provides 
that the Militia shall participate in joint manoeuvres with the Regular 
Army; (6) provides for the pay and allowances of the Militia partici- 
pating in encampments; (7) provides for Regular officers to be present 
at encampments of the Militia when requested by the Governor of that 
State; and (8) provides for the obtaining of a list of Militia officers who 
have had previous training in the Regular Army, the Volunteers or 
National Guard, and who, upon examination by boards of Regular Army 
officers, have been found to possess the necessary qualifications which 
would fit them to hold commissions in the Volunteers. 


( 1 ) JS/otiaithstanding the lessons of the past as to the folly of short 
enlistments, the bill refuses to allow the Militia to be called out for more 
than nine months; (2) future Volunteer regiments are to be organized 
according to the Act of April 22nd, 1898, thus again giving to the Gov- 
ernors of the various States the right to appoint the officers who are 
to be mustered into the service of, and receive their pay from, the United 
States Government; (3) appointments from the list of officers examined 
and found qualified to hold Volunteer commissions shall not include 
appointments in regiments of the organized Militia which volunteer as 
organizations, nor to their officers who are commissioned by the Gov- 
ernors of their State; (4) the original provision for the creation of a 
Volunteer Reserve of 100,000 men in time of peace, to which the qualified 
Militia officers were to be appointed, and for which the power of the 
Governors to make appointments in this corps had been wisely limited, 
was stricken out, and no provision was made for such a Volunteer Re- 
serve, or even to keep alive the ridiculously inadequate force of 3,000 men 
authorized by the old Act of April 22nd, 1898. 


As a result of the legislation of Congress since the Spanish- 
American War, the United States Government would have at its 
disposal in time of war : 

(1) The Regular Army, with a maximum strength of 100,000 men; 
(2) the Organized Militia, trained as a National Guard, and limited by 
the Constitution to service within the United States, for a period not to 
exceed nine months; (3) a Volunteer Reserve, composed of such Militia 
organizations as would volunteer for war in a body with all their officers 
and men; (4) regiments of State Volunteers, commanded by officers ap- 
pointed by the Governors thereof. 

The troops obtainable under the above classification would 
number : 


(1) The Regular Army, 100,000. (2) The Organized Militia according to 
the latest reports numbered only 105,693. This force would furnish (3) 
the Volunteer Reserve. Although the Military Secretary has reported 
that seventy-five per cent, of the Organized Militia would respond to a 
call for volunteers, this estimate is purely conjectural, and our last war 
demonstrated conclusively that not more than forty per cent, thereof 
could be counted upon for such service. The Volunteer Reserve would, 
therefore, consist only of 42,277. (4) Regiments of State Volunteers 
would unquestionably be found in the Volunteer Reserve. The number 
obtainable from this source is, accordingly, estimated as nil. Total num- 
ber of troops upon which the United States could safely count for war is, 
consequently, only 142,277. 

The crux of the entire question lies in the efficiency of the 
Militia or < Volunteers, which can only be gauged by their train- 
ing. All things considered,, Pennsylvania possesses the best State 
Militia in the country, yet its actual training is confined to one 
week in camp and about seventy hours of drill and instruction 
during each calendar year; and, furthermore, there are no armo- 
ries in the United States which permit the manoeuvring of large 
bodies of troops such as are necessary in actual war. At the be- 
ginning of hostilities this Militia would furnish the best Volun- 
teers that the United States could hope to obtain, and how long 
does any reasonable man suppose that these troops, without addi- 
tional training, would stand against the regulars of France or 
Germany? How much faith would the officials of any corpora- 
tion place in an agent or employee whose training is limited to one 
week and seventy hours of work per annum? Yet this is what 
Congress is doing at this very moment. Washington summed up 
the whole question in a nutshell when he declared that: 

"Regular troops alone are equal to the exigencies of modern war, as 
well for defence as offence, and whenever a substitute is attempted it 
must prove illusory and ruinous. No Militia will ever acquire the habits 
necessary to resist a regular force. . . . The firmness requisite for the 
real business of fighting is only to be attained by a constant course of 
discipline and service. I have never yet been witness to a single instance 
that can justify a different opinion, and it is most earnestly to be wished 
that the liberties of America may no longer be trusted, in any material 
degree, to so precarious a dependence." 

If war were to break out at the present time, the only troops 
upon which the United States could place any real dependence 
against the trained regulars of foreign nations would be the Eegu- 
lar Army— 100,000 men. 



Unlimited as our military resources unquestionably are, Con- 
gress has thus far failed utterly to foster and develop them, so 
that they may actually be a source of weakness by inviting attack. 
By contrast with our military resources, although undeveloped, 
our actual military strength is the feeblest of all the great Powers, 
as the following schedule will show : 


Number of 

size of peace 

men in 


Population. 1 

War Budget 
(in dollars). 

Total war 
strength of 

Peace strength 
of regular 

peace estab- 

ments per 
1,000 inhab- 



to each 

itants, the 

1,000 of 

U. S. army 


being taken 
as a unit. 








38,961,945 3 






56 367,178 2 






Great Britain 4 

41,970,827 3 



272,133 s 



47,812, 138 7 


1,000.000 8 

560,000 8 









United States 10 .. 

76,303,387 2 

68,783,140! i 


58,368 12 



It must be borne in mind that we have never yet been pitted 
against the land forces of any first-class military Power. If the 
United States were to fight any of these nations at the present 
time how much success could its 100,000 dependable troops hope 
for against their trained regulars? How long could our army 
cope with the 800,000 veterans Japan was known to have had in 
Manchuria? and history has recorded events far more improbable 
than that we may ultimately have to fight her in the Philippines. 
At present we are at peace with all the world, and it is sincerely 
to be hoped that we shall continue our amicable relations for a 
long time to come; but, from the standpoint of true statesman- 
ship, there is much sound advice in Machiavelli's maxim, "Treat 
your friends as if they will some day become your enemies, and 
your enemies as if they will some day become your friends." It 
is well-known to the military authorities of every nation that 
Japan could put her entire army in the Philippines within a 
month, the steaming-time from Nagasaki to Manila being about 

'The statistics in this table are taken from the Statesman's Year Book 
for 1908, and HazelPs Annual for 1907. — 'Census of 1900. — 'Census of 
1901. — 4 England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. — °Exclusive of the Indian 
Army. — "The principal islands. — 7 Census of 1905. — 3 The last Official State- 
ment, dated Dec. 31st, 1900, gave the Japanese War footing as only 
632,007, and the Peace footing as 167,629— 9 Russia in Europe.— "Exclusive 
of Alaska and the Colonies. — "Report of the Secretary of War, Dec. 12th, 
1906, pp. 58-60.— "Ibid, pp. 1-2. 


five days. How much chance would our forces have against her 
800,000 veterans? Even if we possessed — which we do not — a 
large enough merchant marine to furnish the requisite number of 
transports to carry our entire Eegular Army at once to the Philip- 
pines, our troops would be overwhelmed by mere numbers, our 
Volunteers certainly could not be got ready to sail within that 
time, and our Militia is prohibited by the Constitution from being 
used as such outside of the United States. The German military 
authorities claim that they can embark an army corps in three 
days, and, allowing sixteen days for crossing the Atlantic, could 
land more than 200,000 trained regulars within the territorial 
limits of the United States in five weeks; while it is also well 
known that, if we should ever be unfortunate enough to come to 
blows with England, she could put fully 150,000 trained troops on 
our northern boundary in thirty days. It is left to the reader 
to draw his own conclusions as to the ability of the United States 
to fight these forces with its present army and its untrained Vol- 
unteers and Militia. 

An army is in reality nothing more than a national police; 
and, unless it is strong enough to maintain order at home and 
to prevent encroachment and insult from abroad, endless evils 
and shame must be suffered by the entire people. A strong army 
protects a nation against such calamities, and may therefore be 
likened to a strong insurance company conducted by the Govern- 
ment. According to the last statement prepared by the Bureau 
of Statistics, the "true valuation of real and personal property" 
in the United States amounted in 1900 to no less than $94,300,- 
000,000. The maintenance of the Eegular Army of 58,368 officers 
and men in 1906 cost $68,783,140.51, so that this charge, con- 
sidered from the standpoint of insurance alone, is only 0.62 mills 
on the dollar or 62-1000 of one per cent, on the valuation of 
property. An army three times the size of our present army 
would, it is estimated, cost less than twice the above rate, or about 
$1.24 per annum on every $1,000 of property. The minimum 
rate of insurance upon dwelling-houses in cities is about $1.50, 
and on offices seldom less than $3 a year on each $1,000 of prop- 
erty insured. If the reader is a business man, let him compare 
the rates which he pays the insurance companies with those 
charged by the United States Government, and ask himself 


whether he considers $1.24 an exorbitant yearly rate for the 
security which would be afforded to the nation by an army of 
175,000 trained regulars. 1 

Furthermore, there is an ethical as well as a business reason 
why the United States ought to possess more and better trained 
soldiers — Kegular,. Militia and Volunteer — than it now has. In 
law, contributory negligence which culminates in injury to life 
or property is always punished, yet our legislators have gone on, 
from 1776 down to the present day, apparently blind to the obli- 
gation that, as Adams declared, adequate "national defence is one 
of the cardinal duties of statesmen," and it is indeed a most 
lamentable fact that never once have our soldiers gone into a war 
for which Congress has made the necessary preparations before- 
hand. Although one is fully ready to grant that awful blunders 
have often been made by the Army itself, yet, on the other hand, 
one cannot refrain from asking whether any set of men in whose 
hands reposes the power to mould the military organization and 
to provide all military supplies has the right — moral or other- 
wise — to send the flower of a country's manhood to be sacrificed 
on the altar of national honor? At the very best, "war is hell"; 
and, when our soldiers are forced to die by thousands from wounds, 
fever, starvation, and lack of medicines and attention, who will 
attempt to hold blameless the legislators who have neglected their 
duty ? When a man dies through the neglect of another man who 
might have prevented his death, does not the law call this neglect 
by a very dire name and punish it accordingly? Is the War De- 
partment accountable because, when 200,000 trained soldiers are 
needed at the outbreak of war, only half that number are f orth- 

ir The latter part of this paragraph, as originally published, read as 
follows : 

The maintenance of the Regular Army of 64,336 officers and men in 
1905 cost $77,655,162.80, so that this charge, considered from the stand- 
point of insurance alone, is only 0.83 mills on the dollar, or 83-1000 of one 
per cent, on the valuation of property. An army three times the size of 
our present army would, it is estimated, cost less than twice the above 
rate, or about $1.66 per annum on every $1,000 of property. The mini- 
mum rate of insurance upon dwelling-houses in cities is about $1.50, and 
on offices seldom less than $3 a year on each $1,000 of property insured. 
If the reader is a business man, let him compare the rates which he pays 
the insurance companies with those charged by the United States Govern- 
ment, and ask himself whether he considers $1.66 an exorbitant yearly 
rate for the security which would be afforded to the nation by an army of 
193,000 trained regulars. 


coming? Is the War Department responsible, when vast quanti- 
ties of supplies and medical stores are needed, that only a fraction 
is provided? Is the War Department to be blamed, when experi- 
enced officers are required to lead troops and to administer the 
branches of the Staff, and experienced surgeons to care for the 
sick and wounded,, because ignorance and parsimony at the Capi- 
tol refuse to authorize their employment or to provide them with 
the proper education? Are Secretaries of War to be held at fault 
because they have inherited vicious systems and defective organi- 
zations which are utterly inadequate to the stress of war, when 
they were not responsible for the creation of them and when the 
genius of a Napoleon in their place would be powerless to make the 
proper changes? Have not the military blunders of our legis- 
lators cost appallingly enough already? How much longer are 
Americans to be taxed for the military education of our legislators 
who will not learn ? 

Most of us have thought heretofore that the United States had 
ample military protection, but we have been woefully deceived. 
If that wonderful fighting-machine known as the "Army of Aus- 
terlitz/' of which Napoleon was so proud, abounded in defects 
which were clearly perceptible upon close examination, with how 
much more force eould that criticism be applied to our Militia 
and Volunteers in their present condition? Only part of our 
Militia is organized, and even the organized portion is to-day so 
very deficient in training as to be practically useless against the 
regulars of other nations. On paper they may appear formidable 
enough, but in reality they are very similar to the feet of clay of 
the imposing figure in Nebuchadnezzar's dream. To be sure, our 
Eegular Army may be likened to the iron legs; but, on the other 
hand, we must realize that, even if it were mobilized and recruited 
to the full war strength of 100,000 allowed by Congress, this proc- 
ess would require a minimum of sixty days under the most favor- 
able circumstances. Furthermore, in the event of war we should 
undoubtedly have to keep 20,000 of the old troops in the Philip- 
pines and possibly have to send more of them to these islands. 
The remaining 34,659 enlisted men would have to be increased to 
80,000, the result of which would be that the Army within the 
United States would therefore contain only a fraction less than 
fifty-seven per cent, of recruits, thus greatly diminishing its 


actual fighting efficiency at the outset of war. In plain English, 
these are the numbers and this is the quality of the forces upon 
which, thanks to Congress, Americans would have to depend for 
their protection if war were declared to-morrow. 

One hundred and twenty-five years ago Washington declared 
that we "ought to have a good army rather than a large one/' and 
this statement is equally true at the present day. We do not 
require an immense standing army such as is maintained by each 
of the leading European nations, but we ought, assuredly, to have 
an army which should number in time of peace fully one soldier 
to each 1,000 of population, and in time of war at least 250,000. 
Since the exigencies of the professions and of business will un- 
doubtedly prevent its ever being possible to give the Militia the 
training which would enable it to cope with foreign regulars, this 
organization must be relegated to the third line of defence, and 
nothing more should be expected of it. The creation of a First 
Reserve similar to that which exists in every European army is 
therefore imperative, and this Reserve ought to consist at least of 
100,000 men who have had some previous experience in the Regu- 
lar Army or in the United States Volunteers during actual war. 
If Congress will only provide some such organization in sufficient 
time to be in thorough vjorhing order before our next war, and, in 
its formation, will carefully remember the cardinal rule enun- 
ciated by Calhoun eighty-five years ago, viz., "that at the com- 
mencement of hostilities there should be nothing either to new 
model or create," 1 some profit will then at last have been derived 

^The Act of March 2nd, 1821, was the outcome of a resolution of the 
House of Representatives on May 11th, 1820, directing the Secretary 
of War to report at the next session "a plan for the reduction of the 
Army to 6,000 non-commissioned officers and privates. ..." 

The plan presented by Mr. Calhoun is worthy of the most careful 
study even at the present time; it is a most remarkable document, inas- 
much as he traced the general scheme for an expansive organization such 
as every army in Europe has now found it necessary to adopt. In his 
report to Congress, made in December, 1820, Mr. Calhoun wrote: 

"If our liberty should ever be endangered by the military power gain- 
ing the ascendency, it will be from the necessity of making those mighty 
and irregular efforts to retrieve our' affairs after a series of disasters, 
caused by the want of adequate military knowledge, just as in our 
physical system a state of the most dangerous excitement and paroxysm 
follows that of the greatest debility and prostration. To avoid these 
dangerous consequences, and to prepare the country to meet a state of 
war, particularly at its commencement, with honor and safety, much 
must depend on the organization of our military peace establishment, 
and I have accordingly, in a plan about to be proposed for the reduction 


from the costly lessons of the past, and the United States may 
finally be assured of adequate protection. 

No nation in the entire history of the world has yet neglected 
its military strength without ultimately paying the penalty. 
France was the foremost military power from 1800 to 1812, and 
again in 1860, and Eussia was presumed to be invincible less than 
four years ago. Yet we all know what terrible humiliation 
France underwent in 1870-1871 and what defeats Eussia has just 
suffered. Do we fondly imagine that we are going to escape the 
consequences, when, in actual fact, we are not one whit better pre- 
pared for war than they were ? We have gone on entirely too long 
laboring under a grave delusion, and giving a new version to the 
old proverb so as to make it read, "The Lord takes care of babes, 
fools and the United States !" We have become a "World-Power," 
with duties and responsibilities which we never have had before. 
We have rich possessions upon which other nations naturally look 
with covetous eyes; we have a great country whose prosperity is 
unexampled. Unless we are strong enough to hold the one and to 
protect the other, our day of reckoning is sure to come. 

When will our American people awake to the facts, and when 
will onr legislators heed the handwriting on the wall? 


of the Army, directed my attention mainly to that point, believing it to 
be of the greatest importance. 

"To give such an organization, the leading principles in its formation 
ought to be that, at the commencement of hostilities, there should be 
nothing either to new model or to create. The only difference, conse- 
quently, between the peace and the war formation of the Army, ought to be 
in the increased magnitude of the latter, and the only change in passing 
from the former to the latter should consist in giving to it the augmenta- 
tion which will then be necessary. 

"It is thus, and thus only, the dangerous transition from peace to 
war may be made without confusion or disorder, and the weakness and 
danger which otherwise would be inevitable be avoided. Two consequences 
result from this principle: First, the organisation of the staff in a peace 
establishment ought to be such that every branch of it should be com- 
pletely formed, with such extension as the number of troops and posts 
occupied may render necessary; and, secondly, that the organization of 
the line ought, as far as practicable, to be such that, in passing from the 
peace to the war formation, the force may be sufficiently augmented 
without adding new regiments or battalions, thus raising the war on the 
basis of the peace establishment, instead of creating a new army to be 
added to the old, as at the commencement of the late war." — America! 
State Papers, II, p. 189. The italics are ours.